Oct 182023

The Communist Party of Canada is calling for a broad, coordinated mobilization by progressive movements against the upsurge of transphobic attacks against SOGI 123 (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) policies and other initiatives to promote diversity and to extend solidarity for 2SLGBTQ+ communities.

These escalating attacks took a more overtly threatening turn with the so-called “Million Families” marches on Sept. 20 across the country. Over a hundred similar events are planned for October 21. Cloaked in slogans about “free speech”, “protecting the rights of families” and “saving the children”, these actions are part of a highly organized hate campaign involving white supremacists, Christian nationalists, racists, fascists and anti-choice groups, as well as operatives from far-right political forces including Conservatives, the so-called “People’s Party” and others. These movements are linked by shared opposition to gender equality, reproductive rights, trade unions, electoral democracy, and secular institutions such as public schools and health care.

In response, the labour movement is taking important steps to build solidarity. Thousands of people were mobilized in the streets by unions and other anti-fascist movements to counter the Sept. 20 marches, and we urge an even bigger callout for October 21.

The anti-SOGI campaign is the latest attempt to use “wedge” issues (carbon taxes, Covid vaccines, drag performances, etc.) to divide the working class. Despite their rhetoric about “the elites”, these campaigns are backed by some of the most reactionary sections of big capital, such as the fossil fuel industry, and billionaires seeking to turn public education and health care systems over to for-profit corporations. Far from being “pro-working class”, these groups are bitterly hostile to trade unions and labour rights. And despite their tactics to attract members of racialized communities, many key organizers of the recent transphobic actions hold deeply racist and Islamphobic views. 

Today these groups are demanding to eliminate SOGI 123 policies, to “out” trans, queer and non-binary students, and to gut public libraries and school curricula of any reference to human sexuality. Their tactics include violent invasions of school board meetings, and death threats against journalists, elected representatives or trade unions which defend the rights of 2SLGBTQ+ communities.

The immediate struggle is to defend public, secular, culturally diverse, non-profit, union-organized schools which protect the human rights of trans and non-binary students. In the longer term, we must block the dangerous political forces behind the anti-SOGI marches. 

The good news is that millions of people across Canada are deeply alarmed by the racist and fascist forces, and by their attacks on public education and universal health care. This progressive sentiment needs to be mobilized in huge numbers on October 21 and beyond, to give a decisive rebuff to the attempt to drive politics in a far right direction.

Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada